For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy Leuenhagen
Reno, Nevada. April 27, 2015. As the temperatures in the Truckee Meadows rise, so do the reports of pets left in parked cars. Washoe County Regional Animal Services wishes to remind pet owners that leaving a pet in an enclosed vehicle, even for a short time, can be deadly.
Even when temperatures are a mild 75 degrees it can be detrimental to the health of your pet. Studies have shown that a car parked in the sun on a 75 degree day will reach an internal temperature of 89 degrees within 10 minutes. When temperatures outside are 90 degrees, the internal temperature of the car will reach 109 degrees in 10 minutes.
A dog’s normal temperature is an average of 102 degrees and it is extremely difficult for them to cool off in high temperatures. Once a dog’s core temperature reaches 104 to 105 degrees, they enter the first stages of heat exhaustion and without intervention could quickly suffer heat stroke.
When an Animal Control Officer finds that an animal’s well-being is threatened, they will make every effort to remove it from your vehicle - even if they have to break a window to do so.
IT’S THE LAW
NRS 574.195 states that allowing a cat or dog to remain unattended in a motor vehicle during a period of extreme heat is unlawful and that “an animal control officer may use any force that is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances to remove from a motor vehicle a cat or dog that is allowed to remain in the motor vehicle.”
A person found in violation of NRS 574.195 may face a misdemeanor charge for animal cruelty which carries a fine of $635 and/or 6 months in jail.
“Our goal is not to issue citations, but rather to proactively educate and spread the message,” said Washoe County Regional Animal Services Director Shyanne Schull. “Leave your pets at home.”